Seneca County

Seneca CARES Small Business Relief Program opens

Businesses can apply for grants up to $10,000

TIFFIN, Ohio – Oct. 23, 2020 – Seneca County announced that the application process for the Seneca CARES Small Business Relief Program, which provides small businesses in Seneca County, including the cities of Fostoria and Tiffin, with financial relief from loss of revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, is to open next week. For businesses in Tiffin and Seneca County, the program opens at 12 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28, and close at 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 9. For business in Fostoria, program guidelines and restrictions will be available on Monday, Oct. 26, and applications will be available on Friday, Oct. 30 at 9 a.m. and will close at 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 9. The program was approved by the Seneca County Board of Commissioners on Oct. 22, and is being administered by the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership and Fostoria Economic Development Corporation. $500,000 is being allocated to the program.

Each applicant business must complete the online application during the application period; paper applications will neither be available nor accepted.

  • For Tiffin and Seneca County businesses, applications can be found at senecacares.com. Businesses with between two and 30 employees are eligible for grants up to $10,000 and businesses with less than two employees are eligible for grants up to $5,000. After funds are allocated for businesses in rural Seneca County and non-profit business in the City of Tiffin, Tiffin businesses who received $6,000 and $3,000 under the Tiffin CARES program will be eligible for up to an additional $4,000 and $2,000 respectively. Announcements of funding are to be made on or before Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. If there are more eligible requests than available funds, the winners will be drawn by lottery.
  • For businesses in Fostoria, applications will be available at fostoriaedc.org. Businesses with between two and 30 employees are eligible for grants up to $10,000 and businesses with less than two employees are eligible for grants up to $5,000. Announcements of funding are to be made on or before Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. If there are more eligible requests than available funds, the winners will be drawn by lottery.

Several townships and villages throughout the county also have chosen to dedicate additional CARES Act funding toward their local businesses. These include Hopewell Township, Clinton Township, Eden Township, Bloom Township and the Village of Bettsville.

Seneca County Board of Commissioners President Mike Kerschner said, “We felt it was necessary to distribute funding to those who are specifically affected right now. We are thinking of the waiters and waitresses, theater employees and people who have lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19. We need to make sure we positively affect as many people as possible.”

For additional information and program guidelines for Fostoria businesses, visit fostoriaedc.org or email president@fostoriaedc.org. For information on the general program and guidelines, visit senecacares.com or email senecacares@tiffinseneca.org, where responses are typically provided within one business day and posted to a Frequently Asked Questions page at senecacares.com. Additionally, a series of public, online meetings are planned. Login at https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/339384213, or call (872) 240-3311, Access Code: 339-384-213. These will be recorded and made available for viewing at senecacares.com. Meeting times are:

  • Monday, Oct. 26 at 10 a.m.
  • Thursday, Oct. 29 at noon
  • Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m.

5 Star Maintenance moves to new space

Company employs 24 people in Seneca County

TIFFIN, OHIO – Oct. 12, 2020 – 5 Star Maintenance has announced that it has moved into a newly-constructed office and warehouse at 1796 S. CR 1, just south of Tiffin. The company specializes in real estate development, commercial/industrial roofing, commercial/industrial painting and office remodels, and employs 24 people in Seneca County.

5 Star Maintenance moved into their new location in July, now occupying 10,000 sf of warehouse and office space. The building was constructed by Fitch Properties for $500,000 and 5 Star Maintenance completed the buildout for the office suite.

Owner Charlie Hayward started Charlie’s Property Maintenance in 2004 and did janitorial work, property clearing and painting for residential clients and landlords. In 2007, he changed the name to 5 Star, and shortly after began working in the foreclosure industry, mainly focusing on complete restoration projects in foreclosed real estate, and in 2012 began working in historic restorations and added an in-house roofing division. The company was incorporated in 2017 under Five Star Maintenance & Construction Inc., and made a shift into the commercial and industrial market servicing factories, hotels, offices and malls. Throughout this process, they have developed sister companies that provide other construction related services and a holding company that buys land and other real estate.

“We’ve come a long way since I started my first company, and I’m very excited that we’ve been able to grow and provide improved service for Tiffin and Seneca County and throughout the state of Ohio,” said Hayward.

Seneca County Board of Commissioners President Mike Kerschner said, “Congratulations to Charlie Hayward and 5 Star Maintenance on their continued growth and moving to a larger facility.”

5 Star Maintenance is a member of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services. For more information, visit www.fivestarmaintenanceohio.com or call (419) 443-0414.

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at http://www.tiffinseneca.org.

Tiffin Drive-In Theater invests for the next era

New owner to invest $200,000 in operations, adding new screens

TIFFIN, OHIO – Aug. 26, 2020 – The Tiffin Drive-In Theater, 4101 SR 53, which has been in operation since 1949, is under new ownership and soon will be expanding with an investment of $200,000 for two, brand-new screens, with more improvements planned in the next few years. The business has 20 seasonal employees.

Tiffin Drive-In Theater was recently purchased by Mike Cole, a freelance writer and entrepreneur from Findlay. Among the planned changes, two new screens are to be built, an 84-foot-wide screen to replace the original screen, built when the drive-in was first opened, and a second, permanent 44-foot-wide screen. To build the screens, Tiffin Drive-In Theater will be contracting with Selby Products of Ritchfield, Ohio, which has constructed more than 2,000 drive-in movie screens throughout the world.

Cole said operations should continue as normal for the next few weeks, but expects that the new screens will be constructed beginning in early September, during which time the house on SR 53 also is to be removed. The second screen will be completed shortly after, and may not be operational during the 2020 season. Other aspects of the drive-in will also be getting a facelift over the next 3-4 years.

Cole said he and his wife were inspired to open a drive-in theater after visiting others. “We are excited to bring the Tiffin Drive-In Theater into the next era and help it to continue to be a unique attraction in Seneca County for many years to come.”

Seneca County Commissioner Mike Kerschner said, “It is great to see that even during these difficult times, the owners of Tiffin Drive-In Theater are making the commitment to invest in Seneca County.”

Tiffin Drive-In Theater is a member of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services.

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at http://www.tiffinseneca.org.

4CG initiative completes planning document

Summary of final document to be presented later this summer

TIFFIN, OHIO – June 25, 2020 – Economic development and workforce development organizations in Huron, Ottawa, Sandusky and Seneca counties representing the partnership of the 4CG initiative have finished their Regional Strategic Workforce and Economic Development Strategy. A summary of the final document was presented to local economic development organizations, workforce partners, county commissioners, village, cities, townships, state representatives and educational entities on June 23, 2020. An in-person rollout for businesses and other stakeholders is planned for later this summer.

4CG represents the 4 County Group 4 Collaborative Growth. The group began working together six years ago to collectively address the region’s workforce challenges. This analysis and project plan have received support from the Greater Workforce Development Board and was funded by a $110,000 grant from Ohio Department of Job & Family Services. Final analysis and strategies were based on SWOT analysis, industry sector meetings, focus groups, online survey and key person interviews, and was conducted by consulting firm Poggemeyer Design Group with subcontracted services through the Bowling Green State University Center for Regional Development.

Action items are categorized under 8 pillars:

  1. Education/Lifelong Learning
  2. Marketing/Branding
  3. Infrastructure/Capital Resources
  4. Regional Collaboration/Continued Partnerships
  5. Tourism
  6. Business/Industry Activities
  7. Quality of Life
  8. Legislative Action

Of these, key takeaways include “Develop, create, and maintain a multi-media marketing campaign that will enable the area to sell itself regionally, state-wide, nationally and internationally” and “Create a unique identity and sense of community for the four-county region.” Additionally, the plan recommends that the 4CG partners continue to work together to implement action items identified under each pillar and that the partnership will strengthen funding applications with the regional approach.

Following the summary, the final document is to be presented to the boards of county commissioners from the partner counties for adoption.

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at http://www.tiffinseneca.org.

Clinton Heights Golf Course expands with driving range

Practice facility open now

TIFFIN, OHIO – June 22, 2020 – Having completed construction in the fall and opening in early May, Clinton Heights Golf Course is announcing that it has expanded with the addition of a new driving range and practice facility. The facility has 5 acres of greens to shoot at, with two tee-boxes and targets at 75, 100, 125 and 150 yards and driving boxes for 150, 200 and 225 yards.

Co-owners Jeannine Curns and Chris Magers, who have owned the course since 2003, said they purchased about 22 acres for the facility in 2019 and completed the project in the fall of 2019. The course employs 20 people, and two additional employees were added for the expansion.

“This was just the perfect opportunity for us to grow, and the community has been very supportive,” Curns said.

“Many local schools and community organizations have events or school function at our course, and this just gives us another opportunity for people to see what we have here in Seneca County,” Magers said, adding that the range also provides a great opportunity for youth and senior citizens to experience the game of golf.

Magers and Curns added that the Clinton Township Board of Trustees have been great to work with through the approvals process.

“We think it’s a great addition to the township. We’re glad to have them expanding here and it’s great for the community,” said Dennis Moyer, Clinton Township trustee.

“I’m glad to see that Clinton Heights is growing and offering an exciting expansion of their services here in Seneca County,” said Seneca County Commissioner Shayne Thomas.

The new facility is to be open 8 a.m.-9:30 p.m. seven days a week, and memberships are being offered for the practice facility as well as daily rates. For more information, visit clintonheightsgolf.com, call (419) 447-8863 or search for Clinton Heights Golf Course on Facebook or Twitter.

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.tiffinseneca.org.

$20,000 grant announced, award winners named at TSEP annual meeting

More than $56 million in investments made in 2019

TIFFIN, OHIO – February 27, 2020 – Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership held its Annual Meeting Feb. 27, 2020, at Camden Falls Reception and Conference Center. The event celebrated the successes of 2019 in the areas of Commercial and Industrial Development, Downtown Tiffin, Workforce Development, Rural Development, Entrepreneurship and Community Development.

There were many projects from 2019 highlighted at the event. In 2019, there was $56.7 million in announced investment and 445 new jobs created, 37 rural projects assisted and 17 community development and industrial projects announced or completed.

Downtown Main Street Manager Amy Reinhart announced that Downtown Tiffin received a $20,000 Heritage Ohio Main Street Program Grant. The program is designed to enhance the development and revitalization of downtown business districts in Ohio’s Main Street Communities. Funds from the grant are to be used for the downtown Tiffin Facade Enhancement Grant Program. Since it was launched in 2014, the façade program has had 85 projects for a total investment of $2.5 million in Downtown Tiffin. 

Also during the event, the TSEP Awards were presented to recognize businesses and individuals in the Tiffin and Seneca County community. Not every award is given each year, only when the Membership & Events Committee and/or the president or chairperson deem a company or individual deserving of the recognition.

Award winners at the 2019 annual meeting include:

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at http://www.tiffinseneca.org.

Church & Dwight to invest $38 million in Seneca County

Adding up to 60 jobs at Old Fort plant

OLD FORT, Ohio – February 11, 2020 – Church & Dwight Co., Inc., has announced that it will invest $38 million at its facility in the village of Old Fort, Ohio, for expansion of consumer products manufacturing and construction of a new warehouse. Final approval for the project is contingent upon the receipt of state and local incentives; if approved, construction is expected to be completed in 2020, and the company would be hiring up to 60 new employees.

Plant Manager David Johnston said: “I’m very pleased that Church & Dwight chose the Old Fort facility as the site of this expansion and continues to invest in our workers and our community. Old Fort was in consideration with plants in Missouri and Pennsylvania. The state and local incentives along with an available workforce helped to push us ahead. Thank you to everyone who helped us win the investment in Seneca County.”

The $4.3 billion consumer goods and specialty products giant established their Old Fort facility in 1980. Today, Church & Dwight employs 240 people locally at its plant in Old Fort and a warehouse distribution center in Fostoria, Ohio, and ranks as one of the largest sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) manufacturing plants in the world. In 2016, Church & Dwight had a $2.5 million expansion of the Old Fort plant.

“That Church & Dwight chose Seneca County for this expansion just goes to show what a dedicated workforce we have here in our community,” said Seneca County Commission President Shayne Thomas. “Congratulations to David Johnston and everyone at the Old Fort plant for their hard work and continuing to be a great local partner.”

Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership (TSEP) and Regional Growth Partnership in Northwest Ohio (RGP) worked with consultant MarksNelson to bring this project to Ohio. Local incentives include an Enterprise Zone property tax exemption on new construction and OhioMeansJobs-Seneca County is offering up to $380,000 in potential workforce development grants. These incentives are contingent upon approval of Old Fort Local School District, Pleasant Township Trustees and Seneca County Board of Commissioners.

At the state level, JobsOhio offered an estimated $530,000 in state incentives through RGP, including a JobsOhio Economic Development Grant, JobsOhio Workforce Grant and additional value in an Ohio Job Creation Tax Credit received during a previous project. Additionally, the Ohio Rail Development Commission has committed $75,000 in grant funds to revamp rail infrastructure currently in Church and Dwight’s yard to allow access to additional unloading areas.

Dean Monske, President and CEO of RGP, commented: “We are proud to see this project take place in Northwest Ohio and are happy to have been on the team helping to make this happen.”

About Church & Dwight Co., Inc.

Founded in 1846, Church & Dwight is a $4.3 billion company headquartered in Ewing, New Jersey, that is one of the fastest growing Consumer Packaged Goods companies in the world. Church & Dwight was added to the S&P 500 in 2016. The Company manufactures and markets a wide range of personal care, household and specialty products, with such brands as Arm & Hammer, Trojan, First Response, Nair, Spinbrush, Oxi-Clean, Orajel, Xtra, WaterPik, Batiste, Vitafusion, Flawless and more.  Find out more at www.churchdwight.com.

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.tiffinseneca.org.

4CG opens wage and benefit surveys

Surveys focus on citizens, business owners

TIFFIN, OHIO – Dec. 17, 2019 – Economic development and workforce development organizations in Huron, Ottawa, Sandusky and Seneca counties representing the partnership of the 4CG initiative have announced the openings of two surveys to gather information on wages and benefits for the region’s workforce. This is the first wage survey of Seneca County employers since at least 2005.

The wage and benefit survey is being conducted with the goal of improving local industries’ competitiveness for skilled labor. The surveys are focused on citizens/employees (https://tinyurl.com/4CGCitizenSurvey) and industry/business owners/plant managers (https://tinyurl.com/4CGOwnerSurvey). Employers should encourage their employees to fill out the survey.

4CG represents the 4 County Group 4 Collaborative Growth. The group began working together six years ago to collectively address the region’s workforce challenges. To date, the group has completed a SWOT analysis and industry specific focus groups on manufacturing, healthcare, tourism/service/travel, transportation/logistics, Davis Besse, agriculture and education

Following the survey, the plan calls for the identification and recommendation of partnerships with potential training partners. Final analysis and strategies based on the SWOT analysis, focus groups and surveys are to be provided to 4CG by May 2020 and will then be released to the public.

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at http://www.tiffinseneca.org.

American Plastics investing in Seneca County facility

Company investing $3.5 million, adding 138 jobs by end of 2019

TIFFIN, OHIO – September 24, 2019American Plastics, a premier plastic injection molding company located just south of Tiffin, Ohio, has announced that it will be investing a total of $3.5 million and hiring more than 130 workers by the end of 2019.

The new investment and job creation is due to both the acquisition of the former Katy Industries facility by Highview Capital in 2018 and the additional business to produce plastic shelving and totes under the Craftsman brand label for Lowe’s.

American Plastics’ Tiffin facility will be the sole manufacturer of shelving for the Craftsman brand, to be available at the more than 1,500 Lowe’s stores in North America. The plant currently specializes in the production of plastic shelving and plastic totes, including the Commander and Blue Hawk name brands for Lowe’s; Husky for Home Depot; and Tough Box for Sam’s Club. American Plastics has 14 other facilities throughout the United States, including facilities in Sycamore, Findlay and Arizona.

This announcement represents a commitment to a second, $2.5 million phase of investment in new tooling at the 68,000-square-foot Hopewell Township plant, adding to the completion of $1 million investment in equipment and facility upgrades in 2018. Company employment, which was 27 at the beginning of 2018, is expected to reach or exceed 165 by the end of 2019, representing a net 138 job increase.

Joe Roth, Plant Manager for American Plastics in Tiffin, commented: “This is a huge positive step forward for our operations here and represents both the company’s bright future and the quality of our workforce.  We contribute our growth and success to our dedicated team, innovation, quality and customer relationships.  I only see this getting stronger as we grow along side with the City of Tiffin.”

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz was impressed by the company during a visit there in early 2019. “This major expansion represents another example of the great economic momentum we are seeing in the greater Tiffin area across all sectors, including manufacturing.”

Seneca County Commission President Shayne Thomas praised the project: “This is a huge win for Seneca County, and we look forward to seeing their continued success.”

About American Plastics

American Plastics, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, is a leading designer and manufacturer of innovative plastic-injection molded products for the household and garage storage and commercial cleaning end-markets. The company maintains a national manufacturing and distribution footprint with 15 state-of-the-art facilities across North America, making us the partner-of-choice for our customers, nationwide.

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.tiffinseneca.com.

Bascom Communications announces $1.7 million investment

Extends high-speed services south and east of Tiffin

TIFFIN, OHIO – August 27, 2019 – Bascom Communications of Bascom, Ohio, has announced an investment of $1.7 million into their fiber and fixed wireless services for 2019, bringing their two-year total investment to $2.8 million. These investments have helped Bascom extend services to customers south and east of Tiffin who previously were not able to get high-speed internet.

Some of the upgrades were possible due to the company’s investment in the fiber communications system that improves the reliability of communications among the dispatch centers at the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office, Tiffin and Fostoria police departments and the emergency operations center at the Public Safety Building. In March 2018, Seneca County signed a 20-year, $719,000 lease on several strands of the company’s fiber ring to create a private network for the county.

“There’s a need out there and that’s what we’re trying to hit,” said Nate Brickner, General Manager/CEO of Bascom Communications. “We are a rural company, and we’ve always tried to do our part to close the rural-urban divide.”

Bascom Communications was formed in 1906 by a group of farmers wanting to bring voice services to rural Tiffin and Fostoria. In 1953, it became a co-operative company, and since 2000, the company has returned more than $4.7 million in capital credit refunds to its membership. In 2003, they began offering a fiber optic connection directly into members’ homes and businesses and in 2018, they became a certified gig-capable provider by NTCA. Bascom Communications was the recipient of the Outstanding Business Award at the TSEP 2019 Annual Meeting March 7, 2019.

Seneca County Board of Commissioners President Shayne Thomas congratulated Bascom Communications on this investment. “It is great to see a local company continuing to invest in Seneca County. They have been a great partner for the county.”

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at http://www.tiffinseneca.org.